The recent spate of bomb blasts in the country might have somewhat dampened the festive spirit, but various media platforms are trying their best to bring in the festivities. Durga Puja, one of the biggest festivals in West Bengal, is round the corner and the Puja fervour is picking up. exchange4media takes a look at what various Bengali GECs are up to this year.
Star Ananda has planned a Superstar vs Megastar competition to judge the best Puja in West Bengal. ‘Flat Barir Pujo’ will telecast the numerous Puja pandals organised by the various housing complexes in and around Kolkata. ‘Pujar Adda’ will have a chat show with celebrities, while ‘Pujar Shera Paribar’ is a game show featuring competing families. There will also be a contest via SMS and winners will get attractive prizes.
Neeraj Sanan, VP Marketing, MCCS, said, “A news channel is an indispensable habit of any person. Star Ananda is one such example where we attempt to reinforce our consumer bonding through every significant milestone in Bangla culture. Puja is an obvious occasion for us to be part of the great Bangla tradition.”
Zee Bangla has a game show titled ‘Aircel Aajker Uma’, which is about two women – a homemaker and a working woman. Devotional songs, chat shows with celebrities, capsules on Puja fashion, music and romance – all are on the anvil. Dhak and Dhunuchi dancing, which form an integral part of the Pujas, would be telecast from Maddox Square, a well-known and popular Puja venue.
Rajib Chatterjee, Business Head & Senior VP, Zee Bangla, said, “We do not see the Pujas from just a marketing viewpoint. Being a Bangla channel, the flavour of festivities, and that too Durga Puja, is anyways a must. A Bangla channel cannot be complete without this five-day special. We will show all the Pujas from all aspects – the Aartis, Sandhya Puja, Sindhur Khela, and finally the Bisarjan. We get a lot of viewers both in India and abroad. Being the biggest festival in Bengal, advertisers, too, join in.”
Newcomer Star Jalsha will be bringing competing Puja mandals and clubs together on a common celebratory platform by organising unique ‘Sammilanis’ events to celebrate the concept of ‘Kolakuli’ (coming together and bonding).
In addition to the ground events, Star Jalsha will showcase the pride of Bengal and celebrations of Puja through various shows, telefilms, and a special episode of Rituparna Ghosh and Co during the Puja days. Star Jalsha’s viewer contact programme is estimated to develop a one-to-one contact with over 100,000 people.
Yubaraj Bhattacharya, Programming & Content Head, Star Jalsha, said, “We are seeing a fantastic relationship being established between the viewers and Star Jalsha. Pujo becomes an important occasion to celebrate this relationship.”
He further said, “We have launched a programme called ‘Durga’, which celebrates the fact that there is a Durga inside every woman. This Pujo we celebrate this spirit by taking the idea on ground. We will do a 360-degree consumer connect – from promotion to gratification.”
Star Jalsha is also launching an aggressive integrated plan – both on air and on ground – to reach out to its viewers through a variety of platforms this year. The channel will also hold unique Dhak competitions, which will connect with 100-plus Puja committees of Kolkata, Siliguri, Asansol and Durgapur.
Meanwhile CNN-IBN has launched new programmes especially created to connect with its Bengali viewers and add to their festive season celebrations.
A special series titled ‘Bengali No. 1’, which has gone on air from September 29, showcases the different facets of new Bengali identity. Also, a nationwide poll will be carried out to find the greatest Bengali living.
The programme gives viewers a chance to vote for their choice out of 10 prominent names chosen by the CNN-IBN editorial board that have had achieved success in different walks of lives, and have truly made the Bengali proud. Contenders for the Bengali No. 1 title include Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Amartya Sen, Muhammad Yunus, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ganesh Pyne, Sourav Ganguly, Rani Mukherjee, Ashoke Sen and Dibyendu Barua. The series brings a two-week long special programming that focuses on the evolving institutions and changing mores of Bengal and features the live celebrations from various Puja pandals.
Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, IBN Network, said, “The Bengali No. 1 poll is an attempt to showcase the new changing Bengali identity and brings a chance for viewers to choose the one Bengali who has made them proud.”
‘Changing Bengal’ aims to showcase timeless institutions to newly found passions of Bengal on ‘India 360 & 30 Minutes’ from September 29 to October 5. It is a journey from Rabindra Sangeet to reality shows and Machh (fish) to McBurgers.
‘Exclusive from Bengal’ will bring the Puja celebrations through live updates and stories straight from the Puja pandals from October 4-10 and a half-hour special on October 10.